Huntsville church's home-school sees large increase prior to August

The HOPE Christian Academy director told us they already have an increase of enrollment by 69% compared to last year.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 6:34 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2020 4:17 PM

As some parents are still deciding what to do with their kids when school restarts next month, we learned more parents are turning to traditional home-schooling.

The director of HOPE Christian Academy told WAAY-31 what parents need to know before making a decision. She said as of last week, enrollment for the church school in Huntsville is up 69% compared to last year.

She thinks parents see the benefits of home-schooling in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Because they have health concerns in the family, they're looking at home education. They were dissatisfied with the virtual option that they had at the last school year and want something more stable throughout the school year," said Constance Gillion, the Director for HOPE Christian Academy.

The church school offers a traditional home-school option for parents who want to be involved with their child’s education.

This year, the in-person program is online this year because of coronavirus. However, unlike the public school remote or virtual options, HOPE Christian Academy parents lead instruction at home through a purchased curriculum and lesson plan, and there's no other teacher involved.

Gillion said it’s even possible for some children to get ahead on their own on certain curriculums.

"Most your elementary students are done by lunch-time, 8 to noon. No big deal. Middle school, they might do an extra hour or two in the afternoon and then in high school, you're looking at a full day," she said.

Gillion told us she wants people to know the differences between home-schooling options.

HOPE Christian Academy is not as similar to what a lot of public schools are offering as virtual academies, such as students being able to work at their own pace. The big difference is parents lead the classes instead of traditional teachers and they choose the curriculum.

Gillion said the most important thing is parents know their options and people are there to help.

"Seriously, consider your constitutional right to school choice in the state of Alabama. You have an Alabama constitutional right to select the best method for your kid," she said.

Gillion told us every Monday they host a virtual call for parents to answer any questions they may have regarding the home-schooling process within church-schools.

On Monday, Aug. 3, Gillion told us she's offering a free course on home-schooling on the school's Facebook live. This will allow parents to see exactly how the day-to-day operations can go if they decide to choose home-schooling. It's open to any and everyone.

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